• Justin Handlin

Mythic Odysseys of Theros

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

Join us Live 6/28/20 at 7pm Est.

Crit Academy discusses the new Dungeons and Dragons setting based on the Magic the Gathering plane Theros. The caprice of the gods. The destiny of heroes. Great journeys into monster-infested wilds, and mythic odysseys to the edge of the world and back. These elements of adventure fill the realms of Theros, a new setting for your Dungeons & Dragons campaign to explore.

The roots of Theros lie in the myths of ancient Greece, tales dominated by gods, heroes, and monsters. This world was created as a setting for the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, explored in card sets beginning in 2013. The lands of Theros serve as an example of how to take inspiration from real-world mythology and adapt it into a world built from the ground up for fantasy adventures.

Segment: Crit Nation Feedback: Let’s talk about Blank!

So, for the longest time, I have wanted to create a character based on tales and mythos of Mongolian and/or Native American horse-riding and archery dominance. It seems pretty simple, eh? I was excited to see a Mongolian-inspired human in the Adventurer’s Guide to the Sword Coast (Shaaran or Tuigan, maybe?), but despite the lip-service, making this type of character is not intuitive.

Fighters make good archers, but adding a rider to a mount in a way that the mount is just as essential to ranged combat just doesn’t seem to be part of 5e. The mounted aspect of the Cavalier is melee-based. Pfft!

So, what do you think? Is there a way to make this type of character where the way a Dex-based, archer can use a mount is significant to how the character is played without just saying, “Here is a fighter on a horse with high Dex and Animal Handling”?


Give Away: Loresmyth: Modular Dungeon Tiles - Arcania

Modular dungeon tiles are an easy way to create your own beautiful digital maps. The Arcania lets you make dark, shadowy dungeon map, rich with the fumes of arcane secrets.

Winner: Razorarcanthos

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/loresmyth a free set of digital terrain and much more.

Segment: Main Topic: Mythic Odysseys of Theros

This book is your guide to Theros, its gods, its peoples and their cities (or poleis), its threats, and its tales.

Chapter 1 covers the heroes of Theros: the races, class options, and backgrounds you’ll need to make a character. It also introduces supernatural gifts available to starting characters features that set Theros’s adventurers apart as true heroes.

Chapter 2 introduces the gods of Theros, a squabbling pantheon of arrogant and powerful beings who view mortals as pawns in their strategic games. It also provides rules and guidelines for characters who serve as champions of the gods, including divine benefits they can gain as rewards for their piety.

Chapter 3 turns to the mortal world, the lands in which the epic adventures of Theros unfold. It covers the three city-states of humanity, the wild lands of leonin and minotaurs, the great forests and wide plains where satyrs revel and centaurs roam, and the seas where tritons dwell and titanic monsters lurk. It also offers glimpses into the divine realm of Nyx and the dismal realms of the Underworld.

Chapter 4 builds on the guidelines in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, highlighting adventures set in Theros. Maintaining a focus on the gods, it presents omens that might launch heroes on the road to adventure, details hundreds of plot hooks, includes maps of potential adventure locations, and presents a short introductory adventure you can use to launch your campaign.

Chapter 5 details treasures of Theros, including the artifacts of the gods, the magical inventions of renowned artisans, and various other devices infused with the magic of the world.

Finally, chapter 6 presents numerous inhabitants of Theros. An exploration of familiar beasts from the Monster Manual and other sources—creatures with their roots in Greek mythology details their place and unique characteristics in the lands of Theros. Several of Theros’s most notorious creatures, foes as legendary as the world’s most renowned heroes, are also presented as mythic monsters, terrors designed to test even the gods’ mightiest champions.

Give Away: Jeff Stevens Games: Scourge of the Nightingale: Part 1 A Song of Love

A masked menace terrifies the region, raiding villages to fund her devious plan. Unknowingly, the adventurers stumble into her most recent evil scheme: the kidnapping of a famous performer known as Devon Artis. Their mission is to deliver a ransom and collect Devon. Though, as in most cases, not all goes as planned.

Winner: fred.purtell

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/jeffstevens to get Villains and Lairs III and Encounters on the Savage Seas III Free

Segment: Unearthed Tips and Tricks! (We give you creative content for your next adventure)

Character Concept:

Witch by reflavoring the Lore Bard. Cutting Words is a fantastic curse along with many Bard spells like Tasha's Hideous Laughter, Bane and Sleep. Plus you can grab any spells you're missing with Magical Secrets like Conjure Animals. Ritual Caster feat to find forbidden lore and of course grab the black cat familiar.

Monster Variant:

Arena Trickster

“It’s not enough to surprise your opponent. You have to delight the crowd as well.”

Origin: Drow Elite Warrior

Lost features: Darkvision Fey Ancestry, Sunlight Sensitivity, spell list.

New Features:

New Spells: Bladeward, Absorb Elements, Catapult

Master of Tactics: The trickster can use the Help action as a bonus action. Additionally, when using the Help action to aid an ally in attacking a creature, the target of the attack can be within 30 feet of the trickster, rather than within 5 feet, if the target can see or hear the trickster.

Misdirection: The trickster can sometimes cause another creature to suffer an attack meant for it. When the trickster is targeted by an attack while a creature within 5 feet of the trickster is granting it cover against an attack, the trickster can use its reaction to have the attack target that creature instead of the trickster.


The Grey Fog - A Shadow over Pinewood by Vall Syrene

The mysterious grey fog that surrounds Pinewood at night is a magical fog of madness. Creatures who spend more than ten minutes within the fog and breathing it in without magical protection must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or suffer a level of short term madness (DMG, pg 259) that lasts for 1 minute. For each additional hour a creature remains in the fog without a level of short term madness, they must make another saving throw, with the DC increasing by increments of 5, to a maximum of 30.

The fog borders the Shadowfell and to an extent, Pandemonium, and infuses creatures that remain within it for too long with elements of the maddening magic that lies there. If a creature with an intelligence of 6 or higher spends more than 6 hours within the fog at any given time, it immediately becomes afflicted with indefinite madness. The Creature is immune to the effects of the Grey Fog.

Magic Item:

Sling Bullets of Althemone

Weapon (sling bullet), very rare

The sling bullets come in a pouch, which contains 1d4 + 4 bullets. Roll on the Magic Sling Bullets table for each bullet to determine its magical property.

You have a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with each of these bullets. If a bullet misses its target, the bullet teleports back into the pouch. Once a bullet hits a target, the bullet loses its magic.

Magic Bullets

Banishment. A creature that takes damage from this bullet must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or be banished as though affected by the banishment spell.

Fulguration. On a hit, this bullet deals an extra 2d8 lightning damage to its target. All other creatures within 10 feet of the target must each succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or take 1d8 thunder damage.

Stunning. On a hit, this bullet deals an extra 1d10 force damage, and the target is stunned until the end of your next turn.

Tracking. A creature that takes damage from this bullet is marked with a glowing rune where the bullet hit. The mark lasts 24 hours. While the creature is marked, you always know the direction to it.

Dungeon Master Tip: Trichotome

Check up on your players, and their sheets.

“While players should be keeping their sheets up to date, I can tell you from experience they often won't, or they will but not give them to you. While in some cases it's fine to leave it be, in doing so you leave yourself open to some problems. Sad as it is, some players will exploit your lack of oversight to do things which can ultimately be a detriment to the game and their fellow players. Other times they'll make mistakes or forget things. I had one player give themselves a powerful ability they shouldn't have for another four levels because they didn't notice the prerequisite, while another hadn't given himself feats or skill points for the last three levels because he was still learning the system and didn't know what to add on his sheet. It's these kinds of things that can easily be fixed by having your players give you regular sheet updates.”

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Get the most out of your actions!

If you want to create a powerful character, try to make sure you can reliably do something with all your actions. Action, Reaction and your bonus action on a turn/round. You don’t have to always use them all, but having the option to do three cool things per turn/round instead of one makes you more likely to have fun and effective turns. Bonus action spells can help you do that if you don’t have many class features that can be used as a bonus action (e.g., Bardic Inspiration, Combat Wild Shape, Cunning Action, Fast Hands, some feats etc.). Reaction spells let you go on other turns, thus you can get even more engagement during combat. A few features include riposte, defensive duelist, protection fighting style, opportunity attacks and uncanny dodge etc. Some spells include counter spell, hellish rebuke, shield and absorb elements.

If you have any feedback, unearthed tips and tricks or topics you would like us to discuss, please send them to us. You can email them to us at critacademy@gmail.com or find us on twitter and facebook @critacademy.

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